We have only just begun with our business, but we haven’t done anything related to health and safety at work so far. What does the Act say?
All business subjects (companies, institutions, associations, natural persons, trades etc.) which employ one or more persons are considered employers, and therefore subjected to health and safety regulations. Therefore, if you are an employer (regardless of the nature of your business and the number of persons you employ) – you have certain obligations related to health and safety at work.
What if I am self-employed?
This means that you are performing self-employed activities in a manner in which you don’t employ other workers, or include other persons into your business process (the example being traders who perform their activities themselves, or companies represented by one person, also being the only employee).
Health and Safety at Work Act doesn’t relate to self-employed persons, and as long as you don’t perform any activities in close proximity to other persons (for example, at construction sites or other mutual workplaces) – you aren’t obligated to abide by the Act.
When am I considered an employer and what are my obligations?
You become an employer when you (as a natural or legal person) employ one or several workers who will perform certain activities as part of an employment contract.
The basic obligations of every employer, related to health and safety at work documentation and employee activities, are:
- creating risk assessment (core document)
- implementing training programs
- implementing training on safe work practices (all employees)
- training employees on providing first aid procedures (a certain number of employees)
- creating emergency evacuation plan (textual part)
- training employees in emergency evacuation and rescue (a certain number of employees)
- practical emergency evacuation drills
- creating instructions on safe work practices
- arranging health and safety at work instructors.
The basic employer obligations related to workspace, if it is used for work practices, are:
- testing electrical and other installations (regardless of the amount of equipment)
- testing work environment parameters
- testing work equipment (if used)
- creating and displaying the graphical part of evacuation, as well as other markings
- displaying evacuation and other markings through the workspace
- arranging the first aid kit (with mandatory content)
- arranging the required amount of fire extinguishers.